Bariq Wani was studying computer engineering in Mumbai when COVID-19 pandemic started. He had to leave the metropolitan city and arrive back to the Valley.
After reaching home, the 20-year-old undergraduate from Hardushiva area of Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district spent most of his time idling due to the COVID restrictions.
“When I came back from Mumbai, after a few days I tried to order food but couldn’t due to non-availability of any platform in our area,” he says. “There the idea of starting online food delivery came across my mind,” he adds.
“In other states of India, people order food at their doorsteps and they have many apps and options to choose from. But in Kashmir one has to physically visit a restaurant and there is no concept of food delivery in far-flung areas,” Bariq says.
In the beginning Bariq failed to convince his parents about his plans. “My family wasn’t convinced about the viability of the idea, however my friends and cousins stood with me and I started my own venture ‘FoodHung’ to deliver food online via app.”
“We began our venture first from Bandipora district,” he says.
However, he says, the beginning wasn’t an easy one. “For nearly two weeks we couldn’t open account, but we kept hope and didn’t give up.”
Slowly and steadily things started improving and Bariq’s venture picked pace. “We have delivered nearly 8000 plus orders to our customers in Bandipora and additionally in August this year we started our operations in Sopore as well,” he adds.
“When I started this, I was delivering food on my own to get the response from the customers and to cut on expenses. Now I have hired a few delivery boys and presently we are around 8 people who are associated with this venture. I am planning to extend this service to other districts of Kashmir valley.”
He says the most important element of running a venture is to have patience and hope. “One needs to be strong and work hard. In the beginning I suffered losses but I kept faith that things will improve.
“In my first two months I was in complete loss and was thinking of shutting the enterprise, but reading and listening to the success stories of people infused hope in me,” he says.
The young entrepreneur says the government can’t provide jobs to everyone. “We have to become job providers rather than seekers. If only a few percent can become entrepreneurs they can provide jobs to hundreds of people.”
Bariq says he desires to become a software engineer but at the same time wants to continue with his venture ‘FoodHung’. “I manage my studies and business as well,” he adds.